April 12, 2011

From the Dept. of Wonderful Advice (Pot & Kettle Edition)

From an anonymous Pakistani official:

[You] can’t have us as your ally and treat us as your adversary at the
same time.

It would be a lot easier to trust the ISI if our own intelligence services were not able to so easily demonstrate that Pakistan's intelligence services have been aiding insurgent groups targeting U.S. and allied troops in Afghanistan while at the same time helping the United States target al-Qaeda and those insurgent groups which threaten Pakistani sovereignty.

As relations between the U.S. and Pakistani intelligence services deteriorate, and Pakistani leaders attempt to use the leverage they have over us to reduce the activities of our intelligence services, I hope U.S. officials remember we have a considerable amount of leverage over our Pakistani allies as well. My advice to U.S. policy makers here would be to stay calm, to take an inventory of all the ways we have leverage over our friends in Islamabad, and to not be afraid to call the Pakistani bluff. We are going to have a long-term relationship with Pakistan going forward, even after the 2014 transition in Afghanistan, and I suspect the Pakistani security services feel the most recent Raymond Davis fiasco gives them an opportunity to redefine the nature of U.S. aid and activities in Pakistan to their advantage. I'm not sure it should.